Monday, January 20, 2014

Indian Thali

If you have ever lived in, visited India or eaten at an Indian Restaurant then you probably know what an Indian thali is. You probably also know that no two thalis are alike. In fact, the dishes on the plate are different in every state, they also differ in regions within a state.

As with most countries every state in India developed its own cuisine based on what was locally available. The border areas of most states have a lot in common with the adjoining states. Some of the bigger states have variations within regions of the state. Coastal Malwani cuisine is different from the interiors of Maharashtra. Northern and Southern Karnataka cuisine is very different too.

A thali is a collection of dishes that go well with each other and represent the local cuisine. The dishes in a thali may change seasonally. Special occasions like weddings and religious holidays may call for special ingredients to be used.

In every thali there is rice or some kind of flat bread. Flat breads are made from a variety of grans like wheat, millet, sorghum, corn, rye just to name a few. Then there is an array of bowls containing dals, pulses, dessert and vegetable curries. On the plate you will find chutneys, pickles, papads and crisps, and dry preparation of vegetables.

Two week ago I decided to explore thalis from all over India. The idea is to cook all the dishes in a thali from a chosen state and then blog the recipes during the week. I started with the Maharastrian thali as I am familiar with all the dishes that go into it. Every month I plan to visit a different state.

Click on the links below to see the thali from your chosen state

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